DeepMind Founder to Head Microsoft Consumer AI Group –

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Microsoft has reportedly named DeepMind Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman to head its consumer AI unit.

The tech giant has also hired most of the staff of Suleyman’s Inflection AI startup, Bloomberg News reported Monday (March 19), which notes that his hiring marks the first time all of Microsoft’s consumer artificial intelligence (AI) business will be under a single leader.

As the report notes, while Microsoft has had a “first-mover advantage” in the AI race thanks to its multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, it still lags rival Google — DeepMind’s parent — in the AI-enhanced search engine sphere.

“We want to make sure that this next wave is one that for the consumer Microsoft can really, really create incredible products,” Suleyman said in an interview.

Inflection created the Pi chatbot, which was designed to mimic human understanding of emotions and serve as — to quote the company — as a “kind and supportive companion.”

While the company raised $1.3 billion from investors like Microsoft and amassed 1 million active daily users, Suleyman told Bloomberg the company hadn’t found an effective business model, Suleyman said.

While the company was trying to figure this out, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella asked Suleyman to join Microsoft, the report said.

“We want to bring real competition,” Nadella said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The thing that’s beautiful is when the medium changes, it means we get to play again to say, what’s the browser mean? What does even the operating system mean? What is an assistant? And so that’s the exciting part — not what happened but what is going to happen — it’s the rebirth of personal computing.”

PYMNTS recently examined the debate sparked by another Big Tech CEO, Andy Jassy of Amazon, who last month forecast that his company would reap billions from artificial intelligence in the coming years.

Although some view this projection as a potential turning point for the company, others question the realistic effect of AI on revenue growth.

“AI was a hype in the ’80s and completely died down,” Henry Schellhorn, a professor of mathematics at Claremont Graduate University, said in an interview with PYMNTS.

“Now, AI has come up with much more striking products than in the ’80s, such as speech recognition, image recognition, and ChatGPT, and it will be hard to dismiss them. Products that were less innovative and technologically demanding, such as the iPhone, have been phenomenal successes in the last 20 years.”

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